Going the distance with it
By Dweeze on
1996 Ford Explorer XL 2dr SUV
Bought this SUV new, out of necessity, in 2005 when my 1987 Bronco II died on the highway Xmas night with 140K miles. Nearly 14 years and 164K miles later, I have never once regretted that decision. The original engine is still as powerful and the original transmission is still as smooth as the day I drove it off the lot. It is showing signs of age, however, as some of the interior hardware is beginning to fail and the rust is creeping up underneath the rocker panels. Despite the extremely tempting offer to ditch this SUV in the "cash for clunkers" program, I am sticking with my Explorer until the bitter end. The scrap metal heap would not be a fitting end for such a reliable vehicle.
Handling & maneuverability; engine well matched to transmission; still looks better than any SUV out there
As others have mentioned, the rust will probably spell the demise of this vehicle before its engine and transmission days are done.